Deep Forest (
Deep Forest by Heather Miller


Title: Deep Forest
Year: 2015
Size: 4″ x 48″ x 2″

Deep Forest was made using yarn, twine, leather, and buttons mounted on a wood board.



The Story:

Deep Forest was created out of necessity just before the start of Artomatic 2015.  The day after I finished installing my work, I received an email from another artist.  Her daughter had fallen in love with a piece I had on display, Sublime.  Her daughter’s birthday was just a few weeks away and Artomatic hadn’t started yet.  While the artist told me she understood that the piece had to hang through the end of the show, I realized that if I could make something quickly enough, I could give her Sublime in time for her daughter’s birthday.  Thus Deep Forest was born.

When I went into my studio, my primary concern was finding something that was long & narrow like Sublime.  In what can only be described as synchronicity, I happened to have a long, narrow piece of poplar.  I had bought it years earlier to use as a shelf in my basement but I never used it so it just sat in my studio.

I decided to wrap this in various types of twine & yarn because I had just finished Vintage, which is a canvas wrapped in twine.  Before I began to wrap, I had to first paint the board green & attach the hanging hardware (a lesson learned the hard way). Then I started wrapping.

I had no clear idea of what I was going to do, I just started wrapping.  I had recently bought green twine so that’s what I started with.  Then I moved on to various other things like yarn and hemp.  I used a single material until I felt I needed to use a different one.  Wrapping a piece this long takes several hours. You have to keep a constant tension on the twine (or related material) which is hard on your fingers.  Using finger protectors is helpful to reduce the rope-burn effect but they have a tendency to make wrapping harder overall so I only used them when my fingers really started to hurt.  By the time I was done, I realized the beige yarn (that had hints of color randomly scattered on it) looked something like really abstracted birch trees.  That gave me the inspiration for the title but I felt like it needed something more.  The yarn alone just wasn’t enough.

I had some leather cord lying around thought they would make interesting abstract plant stems.  Then I was faced with a bigger problem, finding something to put on them to make that abstraction a bit less, um, abstract.  I have a lot of random materials in my studio but after an hour of trying everything I could think of, I was at a loss.  It was late at night & I was running out of time.  I needed to finish this piece ASAP if I was going to be able to switch out Sublime before the installation period ended.  So I went to the one store open at 11pm: Wal-Mart.  I found these little resin buttons that look like crocheted flowers that were perfect.

Before gluing the buttons on, I took a bit of off-white twine and tied it through the buttonholes.  I think it makes the buttons look a bit more like abstract flowers and a bit less like buttons.  Then I glued the buttons on.  I signed the piece and was done with one day left in the installation period!  I drove over the next day & switched Deep Forest for Sublime.  One little girl got her new favorite piece of art and I made my first sale of the show.